Thermal mass in building design

This paper was originally published in August 1995. It has now been fully reviewed by the authors and republished to reflect updates to the topic since original publication.

Thermal mass can be effectively employed in buildings to increase occupants' thermal comfort conditions. This paper seeks to clarify the ways in which this can be achieved and specifically investigates how, why, where, when and in what way thermal mass will have the most beneficial impact.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Thermal mass and personal comfort
  3. Thermal mass and internal air temperature
  4. Design considerations
  5. Urban heat island effects
  6. Green roof revolution
  7. Limitations of software
  8. Embodied energy
  9. Conclusion